New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MURRAY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-015-164, Claim No. 112562, Motion No. M-72582


Leave to amend claim to add additional injuries allegedly sustained as the result of the defendant's failure to provide claimant with a bottom bunk was granted. In opposiiton to the motion defendant failed to show prejudice.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant’s attorney:
Joel Murray, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Saul Aronson, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
March 23, 2007
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, moves to amend his claim pursuant to CPLR 3025 (b) to include additional injuries allegedly sustained as the result of the defendant's failure to provide him with a bottom bunk bed. In his original claim the claimant alleged, inter alia, that he advised certain of the defendant's employees at Mid-State Correctional Facility that he was unable to access his top bunk bed due to certain medical conditions. It is alleged that the claimant suffered personal injuries when he fell while attempting to climb into the top bunk bed on June 2, 2006. He now seeks to supplement this claim by asserting a subsequent injury which allegedly occurred on November 7, 2006 as the claimant was, again, ascending the ladder to his upper bunk.

Section 206.7(b) of the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims (22 NYCRR § 206.7[b]) permits a pleading to be amended in the manner provided by CPLR 3025. CPLR 3025(b) provides that "a party may amend his pleading, or supplement it by setting forth additional or subsequent transactions or occurrences, at any time by leave of court or by stipulation of the parties. Leave shall be freely given upon such terms as may be just..." .
It is well settled that leave to amend a pleading “ 'shall be freely given' absent prejudice or

surprise resulting directly from the delay” (McCaskey, Davies and Assoc., Inc. v New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., 59 NY2d 755, 757 [1983], quoting CPLR 3025[b]). To defeat a motion to amend, the opponent of the motion must show that it would be “significantly prejudiced” by the amendment (Garrison v Wm. H. Clark Municipal Equipment, Inc., 239 AD2d 742, 742 [1997]). “Prejudice in this context means that the party opposing the amendment has been hindered in the preparation of its case or has been prevented from taking some measure in support of its position” (Garrison v Wm. H. Clark Municipal Equipment, Inc., supra, 239 AD2d 742-743, quoting Pritzakis v Sbarra, 201 AD2d 797, 799 [1994]; see also Chiapperini v Grossinger’s Hotel, 176 AD2d 1048, 1049 [3d Dept 1991]; Smith v Industrial Leasing Corp., 124 AD2d 413, 414 [1986] [ultimate test is whether the opponent of the motion to amend has suffered undue prejudice]).

Here, the claimant seeks to amend the claim to set forth additional injuries which allegedly occurred as the result of the defendant's failure to provide him with a lower bunk bed as originally requested. No new theory of liability is alleged and the defendant has failed to establish that it will be prejudiced in the event the amendment is allowed. As set forth above, absent prejudice or surprise, leave to amend a pleading should be freely granted. No such showing has been made here. Based on the foregoing, the claimant's motion to amend his claim is granted and the claimant is directed to file and serve his amended claim in the form proposed within forty-five days of the date on which this decision and order is filed.

March 23, 2007
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated November 21, 2006;
  2. Affidavit of Joel Murray sworn to November 21, 2006 with exhibits;
  3. Affirmation of Saul Aronson dated December 27, 2006;
  4. Reply and objections of Joel Murray dated December 28, 2006.